Energy systems are changing and balancing the need to upgrade the networks for the future customer while maintaining the operational performance and affordability needed today is key. Ben Hargreaves reports.
Akshay Kaul, director of network price controls at Ofgem, speaks exclusively to Network editor Alec Peachey about the regulator's stakeholder engagement incentive and a range of other subjects including RIIO2, innovation and the future energy system.
Dealing with uncertainty
"The future has never been more uncertain than it is now." That's the view of Mark Brackley, National Grid's project director for RIIO2, who spoke to Network editor Alec Peachey about a range of subjects including regulation, infrastructure policy and the future energy system.
An appetite for EVs
Launched in May, Pivot Power's plan to develop a world-first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs across the UK has created waves throughout the industry.
Grid reliability and the control and protection of assets remain critical issues for networks. Ben Hargreaves reports.
Providing a platform
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has entered into a partnership with leading software company, Open Utility, to learn from and participate in its revolutionary smart grid platform. Alec Peachey speaks to Steve Atkins (DSO transition Manager for SSEN) and James Johnston (CEO and cofounder of Open Utility) to find out more.
Preparing for a smart future
Greg Pitcher speaks to UK Power Networks smart grid development team to find out more about the company's transition to a smart grid.
Technology & Operations
Digitalising the network
The digital transformation of distribution networks to connect and monitor assets is not a new concept. But while the proliferation of connected devices enables organisations to gather data from the network, are UK operators doing enough to harness the opportunities of digitalisation? Siemens' Victor Sellwood - senior consultant, energy business advisory - speaks to Network.
Helicopters, thermal imaging cameras, artificial intelligence and the internet of things are among the latest weapons as the battle against power cuts rages into the modern era. Greg Pitcher finds out more.
The communications challenge
While it is claimed that the UK has one of the most advanced digital infrastructures in the world, it is in danger of lagging in the development of 5G and the smart networks that will rely on next generation communications. Will Stirling reports.
Blending hydrogen into the gas network
The HyDeploy project will explore the potential of injecting zero-carbon hydrogen into the natural gas network and is backed by funding from Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition (NIC). Alec Peachey speaks to David Parkin (director of safety and network strategy at Cadent) and Mark Horsley (CEO of Northern Gas Networks) to find out more.
Robotics in action
SGN is the company behind a Robotic Roadwork and Excavation System (RRES) which was awarded £6.3 million of funding from Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition (NIC) in November last year. Alec Peachey caught up with Ollie Machan, innovation and new technology project manager, to find out more.
Transforming the network
Network continues its look at projects awarded funding from Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA). Alec Peachey speaks to Colin Taylor, director of processes and technology at SP Energy Networks, about their recent awards.
DSOs and data
Eighty-five billion. That is the number of data points collected by GridKey, the award-winning substation monitoring system developed by Lucy Electric and Sentec. To put that in perspective, that's the equivalent of approximately 1,300 spreadsheets of information. If data is one of the keys to the smart grid, how can we avoid drowning in it? Ben Hargreaves finds out.
Driving innovation forward
David Smith, chief executive of the Energy Networks Association (ENA), reflects on the recent Low Carbon Networks Innovation (LCNI) Conference and gives his views on the sector.
Accessing energy markets
Northern Powergrid is aiming to create a new energy market where its customers can make money from solar panels, electric vehicles and home batteries. Jim Cardwell, head of trading and innovation, speaks to Network editor Alec Peachey.
Drawing on experience
Swedish energy group Vattenfall was recently awarded a licence to own and operate electricity networks in Great Britain as an IDNO. Alec Peachey speaks to the company about its plans.
Responding to network threats
The recent increase in sophisticated, targeted security threats by both external and inside attackers has increased the awareness and urgency of communication service providers, mission-critical network operators and utility network operators for implementing comprehensive security strategies. Nokia's Mauricio Subieta - cyber security for utilities program lead - speaks to Network.
Keeping the lights on
Network speaks to Sotiris Georgiopoulos, head of smart grid development, UK Power Networks.
System operation: Q&A with Richard Smith
Ahead of Network's Future Networks conference National Grid's Richard Smith forecasts how the challenge facing the system operator will evolve its role.
People & Skills
Q&A: training from the top
The training of senior management must not be neglected if the right culture is to be achieved in a company, Ian Dormer, managing director of Rosh Engineering warns.
Q & A: The smart meter rollout
International engineering solutions company Actavo announced in October last year that it has built on its existing partnership with big six supplier Scottish Power by winning a five-year contract to deliver most of the programme to install smart meters in 1.5 million homes in Scotland.
Technology & Operations
Converting innovation: Q&A with Stewart Reid
Ahead of Network's Future Networks conference SSEN'S Stewart Reid reveals innovation funding is only half of the story.
Power play: an interview with John Pettigrew
What does the energy system's most influential chief executive think about current transformation challenges?
The other half
Fresh to his role as director at UKPN Services, Ian Smyth gives Network an insight to operating in a competitive market and how regulated businesses can expect far more interaction with his company in the future.
A golden age: EA Technology celebrates 50 years
From state-owned research body to market-led solutions provider, 50 years have seen EA Technology change beyond all recognition, says chief executive Robert Davies as the firm celebrates its golden anniversary.
New kid on the block: an interview with Peter Emery
Peter Emery, chief executive of Electricity North West, talks to Network about industry innovation structures and DNO reward.
Alan Whitehead: the smart grid revolution
Network interviews former shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead on why smart grids are non-negotiable.
DSR is the future of balancing, not crisis management
One year has passed since National Grid launched its demand-side response (DSR) campaign, Power Responsive. Marking the anniversary, Network speaks to the company’s director of UK system operator, Cordi O’Hara, about what the campaign has achieved so far and what is still to come.
Gas on the agenda
Northern Gas Networks’ chief executive Mark Horsley talks to Lucinda Dann about the future of gas in the UK.
Join the dots: a talk with the NIC’s Philip Graham
Jane Gray speaks with National Infrastructure Commission chief executive Philip Graham about his plan for electricity system transformation and its links to national infrastructure needs.